A man who left Russia to join ISIS in Mosul was sentenced to death by hanging in Iraqi court — the first such ruling on a foreign fighter, according to a new report.
Authorities said the 28-year-old Russian man was the first fighter to surrender when Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul, and that he admitted to “carrying out terrorism operations,” since 2015.
He said he discovered Islam in Moscow when construction workers introduced him to the religion and, after getting a degree in engineering in 2014, traveled to Turkey with the intention of entering Syria to join ISIS.
It is estimated that as many as 7,000 people have left Russia and other former Soviet states to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The Russian’s death sentence could set a deadly precedent for others captured alongside the bloodthirsty jihadists — including the 16-year-old “Belle of Mosul.”
Wenzel’s case garnered attention after pictures and videos of her looking disheveled as she was being led out of the Iraqi city were published. She faces the death penalty but even if she is sentenced to death, she would not be executed before the age of 22.
As many as 5,000 men are awaiting trial in Mosul, judges told the outlet and 27 ISIS fighters were sentenced to death by hanging last month in Baghdad.
In 2016, Iraq executed more than 88 people, topped only by Saudi Arabia, Iran and China.